Sacramento Man Indicted for Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Shasta Lea Schnittker, 41, of Montague, charging her with possessing visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, on Feb. 22, 2022, law enforcement officers searched the home where Schnittker lived with her boyfriend during an investigation into her boyfriend. The boyfriend was arrested on state charges for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age. A forensic review of the digital devices, computers, and electronic storage media seized during the search revealed Schnittker and her boyfriend had met online and discussed child sexual abuse material. Schnittker was found to have numerous videos and images depicting child sexual abuse material saved on her laptop.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, and the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily G. Sauvageau is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Schnittker faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the victims of the offense. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.